Traditions, ancestral knowledge and ways of life of local communities are essential elements of World Heritage. In the quest to continue safeguarding and promoting cultural and natural treasures of our humanity, UNESCO recognizes the importance of their active participation in World Heritage preservation and management, ensuring their integrity and authenticity.

In this issue of World Heritage, we give voice to an Indigenous leader Max Ooft – through an enlightening dialogue with the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture Ernesto Ottone R. In the words of Max, “when it comes to nature and culture and heritage, it's all interwoven for Indigenous peoples”.

You will also enjoy the portfolio of the 42 new World Heritage sites, inscribed at the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Saudi Arabia. These awesome places around the world represent not only the diversity of our history and culture, but also the binding commitment by countries to their heritage. The Gedeo Cultural Landscape in Ethiopia is an insping example for sustainable conservation, where Gedeo people care for the unique ecosystem through their deep connections to their land, history and rich cultural heritage.

On the other side of the globe, in Guatemala, the Mayan remains at the National Archaeological Park Tak’alik Ab’aj take us on a journey to the years past but not forgotten. This sacred site offers a fascinating insight into the cultural and spiritual wealth of this ancient civilization.

Finally, with a sense of responsibility, we present the feature article on the Memorial sites of the Genocide: Nyamata, Murambi, Gisozi and Bisesero, in Rwanda, which also joined the World Heritage List. The act of remembrance is an important step towards healing of communities. The recognition of the site’s Outstanding Universal Value embodies the virtues of reconciliation and justice, and passes onto the future generation the message of “never again”.